The route has been worked out!
I will be departing from Melbourne on the 22nd of March, returning on the 2nd of May, 2010.
I’ve decided to spend the most time exploring Tasmania - I’ve never been there before. Perhaps the chances of me returning for a second visit would be less likely than returning to see other places on the mainland a second time.
From what I’ve been reading, at that time of year, anything can happen, weather-wise, in the southern parts of Australia - particularly so in Tasmania… For those of you who know me, you’ll know that I’m not a fan of riding in the rain. I can do it, just don’t like it and get awfully tired white-knuckling until I get to a safe place. But hey, I figure, what with my plans to ride up and down South America and make it to the Tierra del Fuego (right at the bottom tip where it’s supposed to be coooold as), better I get practice in inclement weather on home soil before exploring those “horizons unlimited”… :)
I have pored over my RACV maps, checking the legends to see which roads are sealed or unsealed... Yes, I am a big chicken about unsealed roads - my skill level isn’t high enough yet, I don’t think. Plus, being disabled and slightly less agile from my 2001 motorcycle accident, I really don’t want to put my poor, damaged body through that kind of stress and strain. Besides, I don't think my cruiser could take TOO much rough terrain! However, if another, more suitable, bike is supplied, this could change dramatically… I’d be far more open to suggestion… :)
*still praying and praying that one bike company will come through for me*
So… *taking a deep breath* Here are the locations I’ll be covering:
Devonport --> HEADING WEST TO:
Ulverstone, Penguin, Burnie, Somerset, Boat Harbour, Stanley, Smithton, Marrawah
From Marrawah --> HEADING EAST TO:
Smokers Bank, Irishtown, Eurebia, Edith Creek, Roger River, Trowutta, Nabageena, Lileah, Alcomie, Mengha, South Forest, Forest, Wiltshire, Black River, Mawbanna (to Dip Falls and Giant Eucalypts?)
From Mawbanna --> HEADING NORTH TO:
Black River / Sawyer Bay
Then --> EAST to:
Cowrie Pt, Crayfish Creek, Edgecumbe Beach, Hellyer, Rocky Cape, Sisters Creek, Myalla, Milabena, Meunna (unsealed road), Preolenna, Moorleah, Flowerdale, Wynyard, Seabrook
From Seabrook --> HEADING SOUTH (on Route B26) TO:
Lower Mt Hicks, Yolta (joining the Murchison Hwy (A10)), Henrietta, Hellyer Gorge / Parrawe, Take Ridgley Hwy to Warratah (Route B23), Warratah Falls, Liuna , Savage River - Options at this point: Unsealed road (C247) to Corinna (River cruises there); C252 to Reece Dam; C249 to Zeehan
From Zeehan --> HEADING SOUTH (on Henty Rd, Route B27) to:
Strahan, Queenstown, Anthony Road (B28), Tullah (A10), Rosebery, Renison Bell, Melba Flats, Queenstown, Gormanston
Then --> EAST past Nelson Falls Nature Walk
Donaghys Hill Lookout, Franklin River Nature Walk, Derwent Bridge (Visitors Centre), Bronte, Ouse, Lawrenny, Ellendale, Fentonbury, Westerway
Then --> RIGHT onto Route B62
(Something Wild & Horseshoe & Russell Falls), National Park, Tyenna, Fitzgerald, Maydena
(Can take unsealed road to Junee Cave from here), Gordon River Road (B61), Scotts Peak Road (Creepy Crawly Walk; Lookouts to Mt Solitary, Edgar Dam and Scotts Peak Dam)
Continue past Mt Wedge, Teds Beach, Strathgordon, Ending Gordon Dam Lookout
Return same route back to Westerway (B62), Karanja, Glenora, Rosegarland, Hayes, Lawitta, New Norfolk - Can go SOUTH to Brookside, Lachlan (see Lachlan River) or EAST (Midland Hwy) to Sorell Creek, Malbina, Molesworth, Glenorchy, Collinsvale (Collins Gap)
Fern Tree, Neika, Longley, Sandfly, Lower Longley, Huonville, Ranelagh, Judbury, Glen Huon, Huonville (Huon Hwy A6), Franklin, South Franklin, Castle Forbes Bay, Port Huon, Geeveston, Scenic route to Arve Forest Drive & Tahune Forest Air Walk, back to Geeveston, Cairns Bay, Waterloo, Surges Bay, Glendevie, Walpole, Dover, Harvey Town, Raminea, Strathblane, Southport / Hastings (Thermal Springs, Hastings Caves)
Back to Dover and Huonville - Channel Hwy (B68)
Woodstock, Cradoc, Cygnet, Garden Island Creek, Verona Sands, Gordon, Middleton, Flowerpot, Birchs Bay, Woodbridge, Kettering, Snug (Snug Falls), Electrona, Margate, Howden, Blackmans Bay, Kingston, Taroona
Tasman Hwy to Sorell, Lewisham, Dodges Ferry, Connellys Marsh, Dunalley, Murdunna, Eaglehawk Neck, Penzance (Tasman Blowhole, Tasman Arch & Devil’s Kitchen), Taranna (Chocolate Factory), Tasmanian Devil Park (Route B37), Koonya, Premaydena, Nubeena, Port Arthur (Remarkable Cave), Oakwood
RETURN to Sorell
Richmond, Grasstree Hill, Risdon Vale, Old Beach, Bridgewater (Midland Hwy 1), Pontville, Mangalore (Chauncy Vale Wildlife Sanctuary), Bagdad, Dysart, Kempton, Melton Mowbray
Jericho --> RIGHT on Route B31
Colebrook, Lowdina, Campania, Enfield (Return to Tasman Hwy A3), Runnymede (Brown Mountain?), Buckland, Orford (Turn offs to: Shelley Beach, Spring Beach, Louisville), Double Creek , Triabunna, Little Swanport, Lisdillon, Swansea, Cranbrook, Bicheno, Douglas River, Seymour, Chain of Lagoons (Route A4 through Elephant Pass), Gray, St Marys, Scamander, Beaumaris (Turn-off to Parkside, Pamella, Stieglitz & Akaroa), St Helens (Turn-off to Bayview & Binnalong Bay), BAY OF FIRES ( Walk to The Gardens? )
** St Helens to Priory (unsealed road to Poole)
Weldborough (investigate surrounds – rideable?)
Derby, Branxholme, Tulendeena, Tonganah, Scottsdale, Bridport, George Town (East Tamar Hwy A8)
(West Tamar Hwy A7), Legana, Lanena, Gravelly Beach, Hillwood Beach, Deviot, Sidmouth, Beaconsfield, Beauty Point, Illfraville, Greens Beach, Beaconsfield, Exeter, Glengarry (B72), Westbury, Perth, Sheffield, Latrobe
SPIRIT OF TASMANIA
Arrive in Melbourne on 5th April, 2010
Bacchus Marsh, Ballarat , Ararat (B180), Dunkeld (C216), Halls Gap (C222), Horsham, Nhill
Western Hwy A8
Bordertown (SOUTH AUSTRALIA)
Port Augusta, Ceduna
Eyre Hwy (A1) across the Nullarbor
Border Village / Eucla (WESTERN AUSTRALIA), Mundrabilla, Madura, Cocklebiddy, Caiguna, Balladonia, Norseman, Coolgardie, Southern Cross, Merredin, Kelleberrin, Cunderdin, Northam
Fremantle, Rockingham, Mandurah, Australind, Bunbury, Busselton (to Cape Naturaliste), Caves Road (through Margaret River), Augusta, Brockman Hwy (10) to Nannup (scenic route to Balingup, Bridgetown, Nannup, Pemberton, Manjimup, Walpole, Denmark , Albany, Mount Barker, Jerramungup, Ravensthorpe, Esperance, Norseman
NULLARBOR BACK TO SOUTH AUSTRALIA (same route - no choice there!)
Border Village / Eucla (WESTERN AUSTRALIA)
Nundroo (South Australia), Ceduna, Flinders Hwy (B100) to Streaky Bay, Port Kenny, Talia (Anxious Bay), Colton, Eliston, Sheringa, Mount Hope, Warrow, Coulta, Wangary, (Turn-off to Point Avoid & Coffin Bay), Coomunga, Port Lincoln (Lincoln Hwy (B100)), Tumby Bay, Port Neill, Arno Bay, Elbow Hill, Cowell, Whyalla, Port Augusta, Port Pirie
ADELAIDE (Riding in the Adelaide Hills?) - Princes Hwy (M1)
Kingston, Mt Gambier (cross the SA/VIC border)
Portland (VICTORIA), A1 to Port Fairy, Warrnambool, B100 (Great Ocean Road), Port Campbell, Apollo Bay, Lorne, Anglesea, Torquay, Geelong
MELBOURNE - FINISH!
Believe it or not, this is a “rough idea” of where I’ll be going! As I mentioned, I want to do Tasmania in far more detail than any of the other states. I've been reading posts about great Tassie rides on the ADV Rider forums as well as any other places I can find such information. I have also been reading about some great rides in the south-west corner of Western Australia, and those have been included in my route also.
Now comes the detail… I’ve got to look up the locations I’ve listed in Tassie, and see what the attractions are (if any) in each place, make notes and try and visit them on my way through. It’s gotten to the point where one questions how MUCH organising and detail is needed in order to enjoy this experience… “Being organised” is a huge part of my everyday job - aren’t I trying desperately to get away from all that?
(By the way, it should be noted that I started to add this route to Google Maps - I’m sure there are some of you out there who would prefer a visual of where I’m going. But guess what? That ended up in the “too hard” basket! Too much work, can’t be fu*ked, etc. Sorry!)
In all honesty, I feel pressured by this fund-raiser… My natural instinct is to just go and see where I end up. The fact that I have to be in certain places for media relations and promotion by certain dates goes against my preferences. I’d much rather be a nomad for six weeks… and see whether or not I actually make it to the destination I thought I would get to. I take comfort in the fact that my future ride of the continent of South America will operate this way - with no deadlines, no set route, no need to return, even!
Perhaps all this work and discussion is irrelevant? Maybe I don’t even make it on board the Spirit of Tasmania for the first leg of journey! Now, wouldn’t that be hilarious?
N.B. If anyone reading this has been to one/some of the destinations on my route, please feel free to comment or email me with some tips or words of advice!